Port Everglades commissions new super size cranes
Community leaders have joined the workforce at Broward County’s Port Everglades in Florida to commission three new Super Post-Panamax gantry cranes, marked with a recent live-streamed ribbon cutting ceremony.
The new cranes are the largest of their kind in the world at 175ft and valued at $13.8m each. Each crane has the ability to handle containers stacked eight high from a ship’s deck and reach 22 across. It also has a backreach of 35ft with a fully extended boom. Port Everglades’ existing seven gantry cranes in the Southport area, where most of the containerised cargo operations occur, are only 151ft high and limited to containers stacked six high and can reach 16 across.
The port is the gateway for international trade and cruise vacations and is ranked among the top three busiest cruise ports in the world.
Steven Cernak, Port Everglades chief executive and port director said, “These cranes symbolise a historic transformation taking place at Port Everglades that is changing the landscape of our community. We are adding new cargo berths, deepening and widening our waterways, expanding our cargo and rail capacity, all while paying close attention to the needs of our fragile environment. What is also special about this day, is the way that the community has turned out to support our investments at Port Everglades. The individuals cutting the ribbon to commission our new cranes represent a cross-section of our customer base, government leaders and the community in which we live, work and play.”
Participants in the crane commissioning ceremony included representatives from: Broward County Commission, Florida Department of Transportation – which helped fund the new cranes, Mayor of the City of Hollywood, where the cranes are located, container terminal operators Crowley, Florida International Terminals, Port Everglades Terminals LLC, and Sun Terminals (King Ocean), Department of Labour, US Coast Guard, US Customs and Border Protection, Port Everglades Association, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Port Everglades Action Team, ZPMC, Liftech and GFC.
Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Ltd Inc (ZPMC) designed and manufactured the cranes as special “low-profile” models that extend out rather than up, to avoid the flight path restrictions of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport which is less than two miles away. They are reportedly the largest low-profile container gantry cranes ever manufactured.
In addition to acquiring the new cranes, the existing low-profile Post-Panamax gantry cranes in Southport, will be upgraded to a lift capacity of 65USt from the current 46.5USt that add the capability to perform twin-picks.
With the proximity of the cargo terminals to a sensitive marine environment, all the cranes are fitted with lighting that reduces the impact on nearby nesting sea turtles through lower light levels and limiting the amount of lights that move beyond the work area.
The new cranes are part of the largest expansion project in the Port’s history, which includes lengthening the Southport Turning Notch from 900ft to 2400ft to allow for up to five new cargo berths, which will add approximately 730,000 TEUs* to the Port’s capacity.
Construction for the USD 471 million project is ongoing and expected to be complete by late 2022. The project is anticipated to support an estimated 3000 construction jobs and over 5000 other jobs across the region, according to a study produced by maritime research firm Martin Associates.